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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 4, 2014 5:30am-6:01am EST

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those questions. thank you. you were very informative. we like charts. some nice job with the visual aids. now do we have any other closing remarks? a quick note before we adjourn here is that this subcommittee and full committee bipartisan way have concerns about the role mr. plays in continuing these continual large-scale recalls and i hope that nhtsa will fully cost free with the gao is gao carries out the bipartisan request to look at these internal procedures and processes. >> mr. chairman we will definitely corporate and i look forward to working with the committee in ways that nhtsa can
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get additional tools to do the best job for the american public. >> very good. >> mr. chairman? >> the gentleman from maryland. >> i want to take vacation to thank the chairman for his service on this committee and in this house. we appreciated his leadership and wish them well. >> thank you. i appreciate that. we are adjourned. yes. thank you. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the committee will come to order. today we'll hear from individuals nominated by the present to fill three positions critical to transportation safety and policy. we have mr. carlos monje, to
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serve as assistant secretary for policy at the department of transportation. mr. monje is currently concert u.s. transportation secretary anthony fox a role in which he works on the administration's proposal to reauthorize transportation programs on the discretionary grant program efforts to promote equity and economic development. mr. monje previously served as a senior policy adviser and chief of staff at the white house domestic policy council where he works on a wide variety of domestic policy issues. if confirmed as physician mr. monje will play a critical role in working across the executive branch and with congress in the coming months as we look to renewing inspiring authorizations for surface transportation aviation in real programs. we also have dr. bella dinh-zarr. is it dinh-zarr or dinh-zarr? nominated to serve as the national transportation safety board. she will be available experience
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of the bar. currently dr. sim producer director of the u.s. office of fia foundation and international philanthropy dedicated to promoting safe and sustainable transportation grid in previous positions his work at the american automobile association, the u.s. national highway traffic safety administration the u.s. centers for disease control and prevention the texas transportation to institute. if confirmed as physician dr. dinh-zarr will fill a vacancy in the five person safety board charged with determining the proper cause of transportation accidents and making recommendations to improve transportation safety. and finally we have dr. mark rosekind nominee to serve as a minister to the national highway traffic safety administration. since 2010 dr. roe scientists are busy member of the ntsb. he is considered a leading expert on human fatigue having published more than 150 scholarly articles and having
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founded the alertness solutions a scientific consulting firm that specializes in fatigue management. prior to that dr. rosekind directed the countermeasure program at the nassau ames research center chief of aviation operations branch of the weight management division and served as the director of the center for human sleep research at stanford university sleep disorders and research center. this committee and the consumer protection subcommittee of held four hearings this year alone looking at nhtsa's ability to effectively identify and exercise its enforcement authority over the industries that regulates. investigations into general motors ignition switch and takata airbags we examine industry compliance with federal safety laws in the agency's capacity to ensure that cars on the road are safe to drive. i think it's safe to say and i speak for many members on both
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sides of the aisle when i say we were pleased to see the president nominee for this position after calls for many vested villas important position. nhtsa faces a number of challenges, significant challenges in the coming months and years as it works to catch up to an auto industry that is far outpaced technology and congress has a role to play in ensuring the agency has the resources both financial and technical to do its job. i look forward to hearing from from dr. rosekind about his plan for leading the agency and restoring confidence in its ability to protect the driving public. i hope as members of the committee get the answers they're looking forward to today we can move forward and quickly confirm these nominees. welcome to allow for witnesses and i look forward to hearing your testimony. senator thune. >> thank you senator mccaskill for cheering this hearing.
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bella dinh-zarr to be a member of the nationals treasure jason safety board and carlos monje. i appreciate the willingness of these nominees to serve the nation in these important roles. as i stated in our hearing last month regarding faulty airbags a string of recalls this year has been cause for great concern. learn pace to have all time worst year auto recalls in u.s. history with roughly 56 million vehicles subject to recall so far. and many of these cases there are legitimate questions about whether nasa should've identified. that's why dr. rose kind will face challenges that nhtsa should he be confirmed. since the start of the year i called on president obama to nominate a qualified individual to lead without delay because it sends a terrible signal to the regulating minty and american people about safety or sacred in march of this year the nation
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began to fully realize the severity of the problems. i wrote a letter to the president. i never received a response. september is in the second letter to the present stressing the urgency for an exit to have a confirmed later in the gm recalls as well as information withheld from agency by gm. september senator heller mccaskill that oversees nhtsa colon the president to nominate a new its administrator without delay. unfortunately parcel bomb did not nominate to november the 20. dr. roe scientists served as the member of the ntsb and developing countermeasures for fatigue. he served at nasa for number of years
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safety is paramount dollars. we'll ask dr. rosekind house experience in the private sector can be translated to managing an agency they perceive to be in crisis. i will also be asking dr. rosekind how his expertise can utilize agencies that are much different than the ntsb. i believe that i believe that's a must have a leader that can hit the ground running. i will be asking rosekind about his familiarity with nhtsa in a particular administration's ongoing top to bottom review of mr. reporting in "the new york times." dr. rosekind will be involved in this top to bottom review if confirmed if he is conserved -- confirmed dr. bella dinh-zarr is the nominee to take over after the departure of deborah deborah hersman a step down early this year. dr. dinh-zarr this a compelling
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personal life story that includes escaping vietnam as a small child. the ntsb plays a role in highway aviation and transportation safety or i look forward to hearing from dr. dinh-zarr about how she would perceived prayer tie should she be confirmed. finally dr. carlos monje spin on its assistant secretary for the department of transportation. i had the opportunity to meet mr. monje last month. i'm pursued the secretary's time and seeing first-hand the host of the transportation challenges that exist in south dakota and i'm glad that mr. monje was able to come to south dakota. among other things we will be asking mr. monje about his views on issues regarding changes in the department's tiger grant review process as we approach the expiration of the map-21 extension that runs out on may 31 of next year. thank you again madam chair for holding this important hearing and i look forward to hearing
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from our witnesses. >> thank you senator thune. we'll begin with you dr. rosekind. we look forward to your testimony. >> members of the committee it's an honor to appear before you today as a nominee. i would like to thank president obama for the nomination secretary fox for his rep support. before i begin let me introduce special people joining me today. my wife is here. she always provides unwavering support and has been enriching my life for 30 years. her son darren and his new bride are viewing for minneapolis and her daughter eve is watching from baltimore. my mother maryland and brother-in-law are viewing at home in the san francisco bay area my family is a remarkable gift in the concerts were such a guy. professionally former ntsb chairman deborah hersman and my
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colleagues many of them here today have been tremendous partners passionate about enhancing transportation safety. nhtsa touches our lives in some ways every day. as drivers passengers pedestrians and bicyclists nasa's mission is to help keep all the safe as we move about on our nation's roadways. the agency's mission is to save lives prevent injuries and reduce the economic cost of crashes but in 201233561 lives were lost in 2.16 million individuals were injured in crashes on america's roads. these are the 2.4 million reasons why roadway safety must always be a national priority and constantly improved. the numbers have become staggering considering over the past decade how they have they have grown. of course the actual toll is much higher when realizing it's one of these individuals have a a family friends co-workers classmates and others whose lives are also changed forever.
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it is the personal human and individual cost that should be foremost in our minds as we discuss nhtsa safety mission. this discussion mustard knowledge how much nhtsa's hard work has made a roadways safer. the opportunity to protect life now and in the future is certainly with rice. it's through their efforts in collaboration with many others across the country that we have made significant safety achievements over the past 60 years of fatalities on the road with reaching their lowest level since 1950s. although much still needs to be done in many respects not to let the world in building processes that of spark advancement of safety technologies and systems contributing to this tremendous decline. that's a pursuit of safety missions are programmed to recognize the complexities and behavior the evolution of automotive engineering and innovations in technology. core safety programs established
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for crashed prevention survivability while regulation enforcement provide crucial safety standards. this includes identifying defects in recalls developing educational materials that touch every segment of our society improvement in fuel efficiency and emissions and so much more. it's a leverage leverages this diverse portfolio to enhance safety. resources and authority aligning with mission and expectation. this must be balanced with the need for ongoing efforts to identify and pursue actions that will constantly improve agency's effectiveness in meeting its objectives. if confirmed i plan to apply my knowledge experience two safeties mission. the ntsb shares the same in mission says that so which is to stabilize and prevent injuries. for the past four and a half years it's been my privilege to pursue active investigations issue safety recommendations and undertake fse efforts.
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as an assignment i develop manacled david da'ish data-driven approach and become an expert in human fatigue. while that nassau expanded by philip knowledge and translate that science into effective solutions that address operational problems in safety critical environments. provided valuable lessons in developing innovative solutions to complex challenging real-world safety problems. i recognize my nomination to lead comes at a pivotal juncture. if confirmed you have my commitment that will maintain an aggressive focus while continuing to improve the safety record and insuring nhtsa's regulatory regime is current for today's safety environment. to this task i will bring a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective honed over the years of safety professional manager at nasa ntsb and in the private sector. chairman in closing safety has
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also been a very personal priority for me since my earliest days. my father was a san francisco police officer killed in a line of duty when a driver ran a red light. through this profound event of my own life i share an individual personal stories of so many people who have been affected by preventable tragedy on our roadways. thank you again for your consideration of my nomination to serve as a mustard and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you doctor. mr. monje. >> thank you senator. chairman mccaskill, ranking member finn members of the committee i am humbled to appear before you today as president obama's nominee for secretary of transportation there would like to thank my wife for being with me and for her support and love prevail like to thank my friends and colleagues who are backing me me up and from it like to recognize my parents and my sisters who couldn't be here but
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taught me the value select my career. transportation is a particular meaning for me because my parents immigrated from united states. my dad accepted a job in the new orleans shipyards and literally would not be in america today if it wasn't for the transportation industry. as a former senate staffer i have deep respect for this confirmation process so i'm honored for your time and your consideration today. i have served in a variety of positions in the executive and legislative branches. currently a service counter to the secretary of u.s. department of transportation. it produced a work in an agency with a visionary leader clear mission and dedicated workforce and a very strong partnership with is congressional oversight committees. secretary fox directed me to focus on high-end priorities policy issues such as the roe america act the tiger grant program and promoting mobility equity and economic development
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in urban areas across the country. i have had the opportunity to see first-hand the impact that infrastructure has on communities. ..
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for the federal government to work with our nonprofit.
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my most personal work came in making the federal government a better partner to local communities following disasters. when the administration began in 2009 too many gulf coast residents including those in my hometown of new orleans were trapped in post-katrina red tape. one mississippi official compared the federal government to quote a dysfunctional grocery store. you have to check out at the end of every out. i'm proud the masters has improved dramatically on that record. focusing on the ground are breaking down administrative stovepipes. lessons we have learned from her efforts to improve how how we partner with communities every day. i'm very grateful to secretary fox and president obama for their support. if confirmed i will work to promote information to get more out of the taxpayer dollars to strengthen our safety framework to help our infrastructure serves for stronger communities. i will work with this committee to strengthen the apartment and
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she better results for the american people. i know that you and your staff have a deep expertise of our shared expertise challenges that yuran knowledges on revenue role as a partner in governing his vital to our shared success. chairman mccaskill ranking member finn members of the committee thank you again for your consideration and for the opportunity to appear before you. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you chairman mccaskill. franqui member thune and members i sincerely appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today for a member of the national transportation safety board. before it began i would like to introduce my family who is iced been so reported of me. with me is my husband dr. robert zara pediatrician and my 6-year-old son. my mother my three older brothers and their families are supporting me from the states of
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texas florida new jersey washington and north carolina. i would also like to thank the honorable norman panetta who i consider an inspiration. i'm grateful to my friends and colleagues who are able to be here and you are watching me from around the country. i believe strongly in public service and if confirmed he would be a great honor to serve our country by supporting the mission of the ntsb to advance transportation safety. i have had a lifelong passion for transportation in all its forms and i'm committed to ensuring the transportation is as safe as possible for everyo everyone. my personal and professional background as uniquely prepared me to be an ntsb board member. my childhood on the gulf coast in my early years working at the railroad museum in galveston texas has made me acutely aware of rail marine and pipeline safety. my graduate training and work in highway safety reinforced in me
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the critical importance of transportation safety to the health of our country. and of course i will never forget that it was an american airplane that carried my family to safety when they fled vietnam in 1975. an airplane that we were able to board because of my father's lifesaving work and his wartime friendships with his american colleagues. my late mother instilled in our family a deep respect and love for this country. i love that my three brothers demonstrate every day in their lifesaving work and surgeons. after witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of traffic crashes while working as a young volunteer in a level 1 trauma center i became committed to finding ways to prevent families from experiencing this needless suffering. i have a diverse background and experience working in both the public and private sectors and
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i'm proud of a long history of collaboration with state and local organizations throughout the country as well as colleagues are in a row my training and practical experience has prepared me for an approach to safety that translates to all modes of transportation. my passion for keeping people safe and my expertise in data analysis consistently drives me to find good solutions to real problems threatening people's lives. i'm especially proud of my highway safety work has spanned a generation from keeping children safe on the road to innovative transportation solutions to ensure that seniors get safely mobile for as long as possible. if confirmed i will not forget the grieving families i have met over the years. i will work hard to do everything i can to provide victims, their families and the
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american public with answers they need and to ensure data from crash investigations and safety studies are used to prevent future tragedies. the ntsb is in a unique position of being an independent body whose mandate can prevent countless deaths and injuries. if confirmed he would be my honor to dedicate myself to the lifesaving mission and legislative mandate of the ntsb. it has always been my belief that each of us have strived to serve our country in our community in the best way we are able. i can think of no greater privilege than to serve my country by ensuring that transportation in every mode is as safe as possible for all people now and for generations to come. thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you today and i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thank you so much. we thank all of you for being
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here and i think i'm going to spend most of my time because of the work i've done in this area on the subcommittee dr. rosekind with nhtsa. it's a sad state of affairs when the airbag manufacturers have now refused nhtsa's request to do a nationwide recall of airbags that are killing people. says a lot about where we are in this country right now and how your agency is viewed. it's become fairly clear to me the hearings we have had on the ignition switches that gm in the takei the hearings and i think it's really important that you keep that at the top of your list in terms of priorities. if you are not feared and respected then you cannot do a
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good job policing the safety of automobiles in this country. you have to be feared and respected in our bank nhtsa is theodore respected at this poi point. let's talk about the budget. it has been flat line for over a decade. keep in mind what has been going on a technology of this decade. keep in mind how automobiles have changed over the decades that yet the budget for nhtsa has been flatlined particularly in the area where you need to keep up with this technology. and once again this year the request is another $10.5 million. i need for you to talk about working on the budget and what the real needs are and mr. monje i would like you to speak to that also working with


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